Central City Concern (CCC) is ending homelessness in Portland, Oregon, by providing whole person care. Each year, more than 13,000 people turn to CCC for their comprehensive approach that addresses both systemic drivers and individual factors.
The homeless population has limited resources and must overcome numerous obstacles to complete tasks that are typically perceived as routine. To apply for CCC support, prospective clients had to comb through a complex website to find the next step. These were often in person, required documentation, and provided a significant opportunity for drop-off. With all that CCC offers, the easier the initial touchpoint, the more lives it could impact.
With multiple departments within CCC came numerous website opinions and demands. One-on-one interviews, group discussions, and sessions with CCC clients and patients identified 20 audiences, each with specific needs and unique expectations of CCC. The website audiences fell into two categories: those who came to get help and those who came to give support. Through empathy mapping and audience stories, the CCC leadership could flip their content from what they wanted to show, to what visitors were there to find.
With this came the understanding that CCC’s inherent approach of centering services around the person in need should begin with its website. This wasn’t a website for everyone. It was a welcoming first step for someone asking for support. The need to create a simple, intuitive, and helpful journey for those who needed CCC the most came at the risk of breaking modern design norms. The site’s designs and functionality were created for those with little internet experience, cognitive impairments, and limited literacy. User testing confirmed that decisions made supported CCC clients and patients making clear journeys for each service line.
CCC seeks to help people find a home, regain health, and move toward long-term stability and success. The new website is not only a valuable tool to connect with those in need; Fieldtrip’s process identified additional functionality for the future that will make the process even more accessible and scalable.
Every key website quality metric improved by 28% or more. The most important sign of success is that 85.5% of the website audience seeks help from CCC to get back on their feet with just a few clicks.